Prodigy - H.N.I.C. 3

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Some of the most interesting moments of "H.N.I.C. 3" are when Prodigy sets aside his New York identity.

For the better part of a decade, Mobb Deep has been subject to significant criticism. Some of it has been deserved, with the M-O-B-B releasing underwhelming music time and again. Interestingly, Prodigy and Havoc have actually fared better when they’ve gone for dolo as of late. Havoc’s best recent production has been seen on Wu-Tang side projects and albums by 50 Cent, Game, and Bad Meets Evil. P Double, on the other hand, has sounded more inspired over Alchemist production on Return of the Mac, and continued to show signs of life on H.N.I.C. Pt. 2. In the third installment of his H.N.I.C. series, Prodigy attempts to maintain that trend.

With its eerie synth-laden beat courtesy of the Alchemist, “Without Rhyme Or Reason” seems to be an exciting opener, yet Prodigy comes through with some laughable lyrics. Sure, P probably catches too much flack for his oft-non-rhyming style (which he proudly claims as his invention in conspiracy theory letters from prison), but that’s really not the issue. It’s flimsy bars: “You should be concerned with yours/ ‘Cause my life is awesome, I’m very successful / I might take a little time off in the tropics / Sip female drinks, laugh and get tan.”

“It feels so good to have my own style / These other rappers should try it, they might like it / They spend so much time copying trends / They don’t even know what it’s like to be themselves” rhymes P. This is an important lyric to remember when listening to the five—count ‘em, five—“thug love” songs “Pretty Thug,” “My Angel,” “Co-Pilot,” “Gangsta Love,” and “What’s Happening.” Sure, “Pretty Thug” features a passable knockoff Alc beat courtesy of Ty Fyffe, but Prodigy inexplicably takes a page from “Quiet Storm (Remix)” collaborator Lil’ Kim and starts his second verse off with a Jamaican accent. “My Angel” features a singer from Day 26, and “Co-Pilot” features Wiz Khalifa. One has to wonder whether Prodigy isn’t the one confused about his musical identity.

On the other hand, some of the most interesting moments of H.N.I.C. 3 are when Prodigy sets aside his New York identity. “Make It Hot” has P taking a page from A$AP Rocky and bringing the South to NYC courtesy of low-end bass and a screwed hook. “Get Money” also dips into this bag, as Prodigy shows he can exist outside the lane he’s known best for—provided the music is well-executed. “Award Show Life” has some pretty good flossing talk and a smooth, flute-laden beat, but the album’s real treat is Mobb Deep’s reunion on “Who You Bullshittin,” which interestingly only features Havoc as an emcee, and Sid Roams on the boards.

When the story of Mobb Deep is told—more specifically, the story of Prodigy—H.N.I.C. 3 won’t be the project that helps highlight an emcee who is considered one of Hip Hop’s very best. What makes 3 listenable in its darkest moments is the production, where P often struggles to sound comfortable. If Prodigy wants to allay talk of his considerable skill having vanished, he’ll have to come better next time around.

87 Comments

  • Darrell Jones Jr

    Bull shit!!!!! Yall need to go back and revisit the album. The problem is half yall people dont know what good music is and been bombarded with ignorance and water down music, that when u taste koolaid or some real juice yall afraid u gonna piss syrup!!! Support the homie for putting out real, valuable and music with thought and substance behind it!!! HNIC3 on itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/h.n.i.c.-3-deluxe/id537765998

  • Tevon ramos

    This whole album has been oversaturated with love songs.Now I understand why Havoc said "...And you album is for the lovebirds." P could've used more effort into this album. It's sad that he made an below-par album just to stay "relevant."

  • Kalico

    I don't know what dudes are listening to either I listen to this shit at least 3-4 times a week. !st off all the beats on this album except like 2 are strait insane strait fire. P's lyricks could of been better but all in all I give this shit a 5. This album is the hardest shit that came out the mobb camp in years. These dudes been garbage since they signed to G-Unit and dropped strait garbage up until the release of this shit. This dude sounds like old school classic P. Niggas saying this joint is wack must of just skipped thought it. You have to listen to this shit a few times. This is a classic joint.

  • chris

    Decent-ish album, but not what a longtime fan would expect. mix half the album with his mixtape, and thats a strong record for him to release, and call HNIC 3.

  • Anonymous

    This album is not wack, i been a mobb deep and prodigy fan since 95. That being said this is not wack it could have been better, but there are some dope beats on here.And P deserves credit for trying to expand.

  • Weebay

    Some of you must have listened to a different album. HNIC 3 is fire. Granted the southern sound doesn't really suit P but it's just an honest attempt to keep up the latest developments in hip hop. Ok yes there are a lot of songs for the ladies but so what the man is close to 40 you cant only rap about being in the street forever. Let the artist grow. Plus the production in the main is A class, Skull and crossbones and Slept on being highlights. People hate too much this man just brought New York back in my opinion.

  • Abcence

    I can't even listen to this, that's very sad. I gave P some constructive criticism on his facebook page and not only was I blocked from posting on there but the comment was deleted...this isn't up to par with what HNIC 1 and 2 brought to the table...he should of just called this project something else.

  • nignog

    prodigy reppin hockey night in canada. i like it!

  • Clark kent

    Black cocaine was good what the hell is this crap...i guess like pac said jail can really kill you creatively.

  • bizzalls

    Yo, number two on this album that Alchemist produced is a fucking banger! IF all the tracks were like that then this album would be much better. This album is a big dissapointment. I dont know what happened. HNIC 2 was fuckin ILL. Prodigy's always been known to have great production. He's got some garbage producers on here.

  • Mika Tan

    The year's worst.

  • illone

    There's a war going on outSIDE, no man is safe FROM, you can RUN, but you can't HIDE FOR-EVER, FROM-THESE, streets that we done TOOK, you walking with your head down scared to LOOK, dun you SHOOK The old shit rhymed, it just didn't rhyme when you'd expect it. It had alliteration, staccato patterns, all that. He's lost the whole style he used to have and is just focusing on "my style don't rhyme, i invented that."

  • Anon...

    "This is your moment, and every single minute you spend Tryna hold on to it because you may never get it again So while you're in it, try to get as much shit as you can And when your run is over just admit when it's at its end"

  • gutter man ya boy

    this whole album sounds like filler. i wish prodigy would all the sudden say: Just joking!, heres the real h.n.i.c. 3 and then that one would be crazy. i cant even conceive as to what he was thinking and why this album ever saw the light of day, even as a mixtape its just a weak. weird as hell. gives me the creeps that he changed so much for the worse in all aspects of album creation- beats=garbage, content=watered down, lyrics=terrible over the top non rhyming and weak structure. plus those freakin rolled up pants on the deluxe version- wtf??????????????

  • t4m

    always been a fan of mobb deep, but the new material isn't the same. Prodigy use to be one of the top lyrics, but now it seems like he talking on beats..last good mobb album was america's most..this album should have been a mix tape.

  • KE

    The PUTOS givin' this album a perfect five have got to be drunk and high.

  • Submission

    The guy says he has changed his outlook on life such as doing positive things and moved away from the jewelry, drugs, sexual sluts, money side of the industry yet he still raps about them things. Hypocritical if u ask me

  • ed

    good but there EP black cocaine was more DOPE 3/5 Black cocaine perfect 5. nice beats on this though

    • KE

      "Nice beats on this"!!?? Homie, not even close to nice. Absolutely NONE of the beats are nice on HNIC 3. Even the ALC beats are weak and boring. This is a shit album.

  • JT

    prodigy is washed up and clueless. he actually sounds sharper lyrically than he did before getting locked up but now hes lost his sound and thinks hes a ladies man and he makes pussy love songs for chicks that wont fuck him or buy his piece of shit album. prodiigy lost his fucking mind. this album sucks. overloaded on prissy love songs and wannabe radio joints, really disappointing. hnic 1 and 2 were great albums, very dark albums. prodigy never rapped about girls like this fuck is wrong with him? what he got a little muscle in jail, now he's slick like LL COOL J? he needs to regroup this album was a flop critically and commercially. amazing to me no one told him the album was weak before he pressed it. get some better ears in the studio, not afraid to tell you shit sucks. if prodigy reads this, make anotherf album with alchemist, use sid roams and alchemist to find your sound again. i'm a mobb deep fan forever and loved prodigy solo shit but this album is trash and i honestly wish i never heard it. p wasted his and everyone elses time with this lukewarm piece of shit album after 3 years in prison. unbelievable. honest. 1/5. one of the worst albums ive ever heard from an artist i love. prodigy fucked up bad with this one.

    • Anonymous

      lol you deinitely made some good points. However, I don't think it's trash or anything. It's average at best to subpar if you ask me. Definitely his worst body of work to date tho.

  • Anonymous

    i knew it. A sad day

  • KE

    HNIC 3 is a disaster of an album. Not really much more to say about it then that. Prodigy needs to retire.

  • Anonymous

    It's an average albm full of R and B shit. Still What's Happening,Live and Co-Pilot are kinda okay.

  • Bpitts

    I'm glad Prodigy has changed his attitude... But this album was Garbino~! None of the Bars or hooks rhymed anyway

  • BIG FACE ITALY

    I dont like this album, I wanted too and I hoped it would be atleast descent but damn. The tuff guy from the book sound like a clown on audio....the selfish ego boostin sounds dumb as fuck. Worst dissapointment this year.

  • 777

    RIP Prodigy. This guy's done.

  • Cheeba M.

    This album was trash straight garbage and whoever says different is crazy. The choice of beats man what was this guy thinking when he recorded this. To many yes men around him to let this ever come out WOW!! Weed plate material and that's it, he really fell off big time. What kind of style is no putting words together, this shit is ass cheeks R.I.P H.N.I.C., no star on this!

  • Anonymous

    FUCKIN THIS SHIT IS TRASH!!!! WHAT THE FUCKIN HAPPEN TO THIS DUDE...SMH

  • Yamz

    We all miss the Crime Rhyme Houdini P, but let's be honest, dude is never coming back. This album was, however, complete fucking trash. HNIC 3 Mixtape >>>>>>>>>

  • Anonymous

    R.I.P. Prodigy. 1995-1999

    • Weebay

      Look man, you cant listen to the Infamous, Hell on Earth and Murda Muzik forever. Get with the here and now. This is a good album.

    • Anonymous

      theres alot of the hiphop complainers that are stuck with the old albums in case you noticed there are some albums from 2000 to now that are good . Prodigy - hnic 1 and 2 thats 2000 & 2008 for ya before typing this bullshit rip 1999 I hope Prodigy does another album with no commercial rappers instead some old vets and does better next time

    • KE

      Exactly. Prodigy hasn't sounded good since the "Murda Muzik" album and that's the truth!

  • Anonymous

    another weak review by Slava. HNIC 3 is really not P's best work but it has some good tracks. Those 2 southern tracks are by far the worst on the album tho.

  • mobb deep fan

    i dno why theres so much hate on this album i thought it was dope even tho it wasnt as good as hnic1 or 2 or the return of the mac but it was still better than most albums released atm. Keep it up P and i cant wait for the next mobb deep album

  • foekist

    Wack album. I can't believe how bad it is. I know prison is supposed to change you, but not for the worst!

  • Robbin Tanks 4 Ammo

    I really hoped this would be something close to return of the mac or HNIC1 But it got so many childish dumb laughable lyrics...looks like he has lost it. That latest Havoc single has tha Mobb sound written all over it

  • zackishere

    Worst album ever this shit would ne lucky to even be at the five for a dollar bin at Sam And Goody's.

  • Anonymous

    The beat is hot, the lyrics and flow are wack.

  • R.I.P Prodigy

    B.N.I.C Bitch Nigga In Charge Youre a bitch now,Pussy P. Give it up

  • Anonymous

    SLAVA IS A HATER DO HE EVEN KNOW THE LINGO?

    • Anon...

      SLAVA KUPERSTEIN Aesop Rock - Skelethon | 3.5/5 [SHOULD HAVE BEEN 4/5] Prodigy - H.N.I.C. 3 | 2.5/5 [CORRECT] 50 Cent - 5 (Murder By Numbers) | 2.5/5 [CORRECT] Maybach Music Group - Self Made Vol. 2 | 3.5/5 [SHOULD HAVE BEEN 3/5 ] Gucci Mane - I'm Up (Mixtape Review) | "Just a Mixtape" [CORRECT] 50 Cent - The Lost Tape (Mixtape Review) | "EP-worthy" [CORRECT] 1982 (Statik Selektah x Termanology) - 2012 | 4/5 [SHOULD HAVE BEEN 3.5] Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music | 4.5/5 [CORRECT] Meek Mill - Dreamchasers 2 (Mixtape Review) | "EP-worthy" [CORRECT] Apollo Brown & O.C. - Trophies | 4/5 [CORRECT] Blockhead - Interludes After Midnight | 4/5 [CORRECT] He ain't a bad reviewer

    • Jay

      I don't know anybody that has agreed with any Slavas reviews. His so bad that he is the only reviewer that gets hated by name.

    • Anonymous

      Slava probably loves MMG and YM.

  • youngsta

    r.i.p. old ass mobb deep. this album is pure garbage, filled with horrible "hardcore female songs" and terrible shitty beats. lmao. the only decent song was the one with wiz. and why is this nigga taking a picture of his back for the album cover? hahaha! 0/5 but i'll give it a one so the score can go lower. lol.

  • Submission

    The track above sounds awful. Mobb deep and prodigy are over. Just remember their old material

  • Anonymous

    I'll never understand how artists get confused like this Mobb Deep blew up doing hardcore shit, thats what your good at. Nobody wants to hear P rap love songs, we have Drake & LL cool J for that. This album is as laughable to me as it would be if Drake did an album that sounded like "Hell On Earth" Just stay in your lane nextime, this album is a joke

    • Anonymous

      on point. prodigy is an idiot. who wants to hear prodigy rap about the ladies over wack beats start to finish? p sold the fuck out and compromised his sound and sold less than ever. now he has to rebuild. bad move. wonder if he regrets it. probably not. mobb deep been fucking up bad since he got out. buncha fucked up headlines and wack music.

    • KE

      Great comment. I completely agree, homie.

  • Anonymous

    This album is an abortion, P should be ashamed of himself

  • 718rob

    2.5 is way overrated. This was wet trash. Fell the fuck off.

  • Anonymous

    "an emcee who is considered one of Hip Hops very best" By who???

    • Anonymous

      @trooth Combine the elements; Mobb Deep, RSO crime shit Niggas is left blindfolded, reminded how real shit can get, live at time at USA, New York City if you wanna be exact A soldier story from Queens if you closer on the map Battalions taught me how to bust my gat Mentally fucked the god, then left me to take my earth back Time for revolutionary acts Yo Hav, you shift the tracks, Ill find the facts Now we got illuminati all on our backs Checkn and see if we do crimes and pay tax the war is on, no time to lax Build a arsenal, got word back from Apostle Unoriginal man got plans colossal Endelay, nigga get your shit straight Fuck a pearly white gate, all that bullshit is fake The only gates ill see if they send the god upstate Never that, im here to show the world where my heads at Forever fed til the Aryans on they death bed A rebel, I wear the universal flag symbol The positive and negative war will soon kindle Bucking at the government like Terminator 2 ....thats why some say P is one of greatest ever

    • trooth

      stop it you mobb deep stans..... P is not in anyones top 10... so stop it. These niggas had like 2 hot albums.

    • rdcj

      @1 you don't know shit son. He might not ba all that now a days but he is one of the best to ever do it and when you hear all this shit about how great the 90's where he and Hav had a lot to do with that. you just don't know couse they where to grimy to go POP like Biggie and Jay-z but a the time they where on similar levels.

    • rdcj

      By me 2 bitch. Mobb Deep has die hard fans all over the world. They sold out Miami last year in a an hour so lern some before you talk shit.

    • Doublespeak

      @1 - That is the most ignorant comment I have heard on here; how do you know how broad my horizons are? Believe me, I have forgotten more emcees than most people have heard. You cannot syllogistically come to the conclusion that I have narrow horizons because I hold Prodigy with such high regard. Of the thousands of emcees I have had the pleasure, displeasure, and indifference of hearing, Prodigy is in my all-time top 3. This makes the disappointment of this HNIC 3 all the more galling. I'm very sorry that you think it is insane to say that Prodigy was an all-time great; too bad your opinion is too insignificant to alter that. Respect people's opinion; broaden YOUR horizons, son.

    • 1

      You insane. Craziest shit i ever heard! Broaden your horizon. You def dont know hip hop. If he was one of the best i and everybody else would have stopped listening to hip hop a long time ago.

    • King Chandler

      @Doublespeak....Let em' know bruh, not everyone had the privelage to experience Grimey 90's hip-hop like some of us, this shit was far from dope but you can't take back the classic albums P's had. His flow is too much for some people that can only comprehend a verse when every bar rhymes with the next. P makes words rhyme that aren't supposed to rhyme. I remember Hov saying in Decoded that he thought Prodigy was the one of the best rappers out at one point. He's just too caught up in trying to be back in his youth, dude went from rockin fatigues to now being middle aged and dressin like a teenager in bright neon colors and shit, regardless of what he does career wise from here on out I'll always have my Mobb discography and HNIC 1 and 2 in the ipod.

    • Anonymous

      yeah I'm not a Prodigy fan myself but I hear a lot of people speak of very highly...

    • Doublespeak

      Me, and millions of others who have been blessed with The Infamous..., Hell On Earth, Murda Muzik, HNIC, Return of the Mack, HNIC2, and his amazing guest appearances. Sure, this is as disappointing as hell, but don't act like he wasn't one of the best emcees on the face of the planet at one point. Listen to his verse on Apostle's Warning and that epitomises everything that is great about P.

  • j

    Book was horrible. I thought it was going to be about him and his life. Just full of manufactured fuck nigga stories. Album was very very average. Beats were horrrrible. Like I can't support this dude any longer. Just call it quits my dude before you further tarnish the early legacy of hard real classics. It is a really sad downfall

    • QUEZ

      how was the book not about him this man went from his birth to where he is now, yea he mentions alot of rappers in the book but if yall didn't realize, that was his life he's been a rapper since 16. Damn does anybody think for themselves anymore I respect what @doublespeak had to say to each is own but I enjoyed the book and I've enjoyed Mobb Deep and P's career hope he does better I know he has it in him

  • youngvito79

    used to be one of my favorite rappers.. wtf happened to him man? he's like the worst rapper alive right now..

  • Orr971

    Damn... Prodigy has commersialized... Wiz Khalifa... Songs about love... ONLY 4 ALCs, 1 Sid Roams.... WTF????? I haven't really listened to it got to track 6 maybe but it's not as interesting as HNIC 2...

  • Anonymous

    horrible this guy is finished.

  • this is garbage

    R.I.P. Prodigy...

  • Anonymous

    Prodigy is one of my favorite rappers. Albums was ok but i can live wit it

  • Jean

    Most boring album of 2012? Yes sir!

  • Jack Merridew

    this album is a huge let down. production sounds corny as fuck, hnic is classic and hnic2 is very good like I read below but this one is very weak. And WTF with all these rnb choruses ??? you got Havoc who is a great producer and you even didn't asked for one single beat ? come on ! this album is below average. best track is co-pilot

  • Anonymous

    FUUQQ YEEZ MY NIKKAS FINALLY IT HAPPENED - JUST GOT A NEW RIDE - A CAM A RO CONVERTIBLE.GOT APPROVED FOR 26 LARGE. BEEN 5 YRS SINCE IVE GOTTEN SHYT APPROVED, BUT NOW ALL MY CRE-DIT SHEET GONE. ALL OF IT. IF YOU STRUGGLING WITH THAT CREDITT HISTORY ISHH, GET RID OF ALL DAT TODAY - CALL THESE PEEPS AT 8^8^8-9-2-7 -3-3-5-6. . THEY DO AMAZING WORK AND THEY ARE CHEAP AS FUQQ. GOT RID OF ALL MY SHYYT IN NO TIME. MY HOMEBOY WAS IN THE GUTTA TOO, AND HE CLEANER THAN ME NOW-gettin a condo!! Hit em up - THEY WILL HELP U!!

  • bizzalls

    This is definitely the worst of all the HNIC albums. HNIC was great. HNIC 2 was real real good. This album is really lacking on the production and Prodigy doesn't sound like himself anymore. His voice sounds weird on a lot of the tracks. I don't get it production-wise though. He's always been known to have great production. He only has ONE beat from Sid Roams, and 3 beats from Alchemist, which aren't even that great. He shoulda had both of those dudes produce the whole album. What's wrong with you, P? You can do better than this.